January is the time of year when all of us are setting goals to accomplish in the New Year. Knowing how to set a goal for yourself is, one of the most important aspects of even achieving a goal. In this article I want to make sure you know the difference between Short and Long Terms Goals and what a SMART Goal is and how to make one for yourself. As I’m sure you’ve heard, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Goals are the first step in creating a plan to keep you focused, hold you accountable, and help you achieve your full potential.
Short Term and Long-Term Goals are both important to your overall success. Short Term Goals can typically be accomplished in between one to six months. Short terms goals are things you should be working on, daily and you focus about 80% of your time working towards them. They should also build into what your Long-Term Goal is. A Long-Term Goal will typically take a year or more to accomplish. With that said, every time you set a Short-Term Goal keep your Long-Term Goal in mind. If it isn’t helping you get there, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
SMART Goals are something you hear a lot about now, but what exactly are they? SMART is an acronym that stands for; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Oriented, and Time-Bound. Each aspect is important to helping you create a well-defined goal so that there is no question about what it will take to get there.
SPECIFIC: Specific simply means, that, your goal is well-defined, and you have a clear outcome. There should also be enough detail so that there is no question about what needs to be done. When thinking about this, there are 6 “W” Questions you should ask yourself. Who is involved? What do I want to accomplish? Where will the action take place? When will the goal be achieved? Why is the goal important? A poor example of a specific goal would be; I want to be faster. A much better goal would be; I will attend Elite Sports Performance Classes 3 times a week to decrease my 40-yard dash time by 0.2 seconds before Summer Workouts so that I can make the Varsity Football team.
Measurable: Measurable simply means, is the goal measurable and how will it be measured? It you can’t measure something you’ll never know if you achieve it. How you are measuring it also makes a big difference. For example; in sprinting a hand-held stopwatch will almost always clock you faster than an automated laser timing system. Even body weight can vary drastically depending on the time of day you weigh yourself. Make sure you are measuring your measuring your progress and consistent with how and when you are measuring.
Attainable: A goal is meant to push you and it should be challenging. If a goal isn’t challenging than you won’t put in much effort to get there. However, it is easy to make an over the top goal you may never reach and just discourage yourself. Athletes who want to get faster is something we deal with every day here at the Parisi Speed School and our job is to help you reach your goals. Now, if you want to drop your 40yard Dash time from a 5.0s to a 4.2s in a month chances, are we won’t even be able to help you get there in a month. Going from a 5.0 to a 4.7 is much more attainable and once we hit that mark, then we’ll work on the next goal, and achieving goals is a great confidence boost and as we know confidence can make or break your performance on the field.
Results-Oriented: “I want to” and “I will” are two very different choices of words. Simply wanting something isn’t going to be enough to make you achieve your dreams. Every goal you set should start with the words “I will”. When we say them that way it keeps us from forgetting the work and how important the goal is to you. Wanting is wishing. It’s easy to want more playing time but it takes work to will yourself to more playing time.
Time-Bound: If you don’t have a specific deadline for a goal or task then chances are, you’ll lose sight of it and it won’t get done. All the goals you set should have a deadline of when it’s going to be accomplished. At the same time if the goal date is set too far in the future then it’s easy to procrastinate. Remember, one to six months is the ideal time frame for goals. Having a deadline will hold you accountable and it will give you a reason to keep training and pushing yourself as that deadline gets closer and closer.
Knowing all this now it’s time for your homework. Take 5-10 minutes sit down and write out your goals and have your child do the same. A goal is much more powerful when we are the ones setting it so let your child set a goal for themselves and support them along the way!